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Killer Indian student wanted exams to be put off
BY RESMI SIVARAM November 09, 2017
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NEW DELHI: The naming of a Class 11 student as the suspect in the murder of a 7-year-old at Ryan International School in Gurugram in the National Capital Region has raised eyebrows.

The motive that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) attaches to the murder is that the suspect wanted exams and a parent-teacher meeting postponed, and found the killing a way for that.

The minor accused, described as a “child in conflict with law,” was produced before a Juvenile Justice Board on Wednesday afternoon. He was remanded to three days though the CBI sought him for six days.

A CBI spokesperson earlier told the media: “We have come to the conclusion on the basis of CCTV, forensic evidence and scientific evidence.”

Ashok Kumar, the conductor of one of the school buses who was arrested initially over the death of second-grade student Pradyuman Thakur, will continue to remain under the scanner though he “is not in the picture,” the CBI said. The court will have to decide on him. In charging Kumar, police had said he had tried to sexually assault the child at around 7am in the school washroom.

The CBI findings not only came as a shocker, but also dealt a blow to the Gurugram Police. Police had claimed that Kumar had confessed to the killing. CBI sources say the conductor was coerced into a confession. The murder took place in September in the school, 32 kilometres from Delhi.

At the same time, the motive ascribed to the suspect raises eyebrows. The unidentified suspect’s father dismissed the CBI arguments and claimed his son is innocent.

“We have been co-operating with the police from day one. My son’s statement under section 164 of criminal penal code was also recorded.

The CBI questioned him repeatedly and we co-operated,” he told media, alleging his son was being framed.

“They (CBI) arrested my son last night. My son has not committed the crime, he informed gardener and teachers,” he said. The CBI blames police for errors in investigation, which the national agency took over last month. One of the major errors is an extended video, only part of which police had relied on to pick the suspect.

The video, seen by the media, shows Pradyuman crawling out of the washroom, his throat slit. He collapses near a wall outside, his blood puddling around him. Kumar was seen entering the washroom earlier and comes out, followed by the child who holds his neck in pain. His windpipe was slashed open.

According to CBI sources, the full video shows five people outside the washroom: Pradyuman, already injured and bleeding, three students and Kumar. The newly-named suspect is among them and was the last person seen leaving the washroom.

CBI claims it has recovered the murder weapon. According to the CBI, a knife was found around the washroom was the killer’s weapon.

The suspect had been seen holding it earlier, investigators claim. He had told classmates the exam will be put off. CBI sources say the suspect wanted exams and a parent-teacher meeting postponed because he was in counselling and academically weak.

Sushil Tekriwal, lawyer for Pradyuman’s family, endorsed the CBI finding. “We demand strict punishment for him, he should be tried as an adult and hanged,” he said. A new law allows such trial, but the lawyer for the suspect said the CBI has not moved a formal plea that the accused be tried as an adult.

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